Make your quarter note swing....

Mr Farkle

Well-known Member
I’m wondering if you’ve also seen this video of McBride and Hutchinson talking about tempo:

Anyway, I think I’m with you on some of these jazz concepts. It takes a few passes for me to get it, but it’s a fun journey.
That where I heard that story. I almost linked the video but then thought it might take the conversation off topic. At this point it’s a good diversion. 😊 And it’s a helpful video in general.
 

MG1127

Active Member
My apologies! Wasn’t trying to argue with you, or correct you in any way. Just trying to add to your point. This discussion is so difficult because the terms were so terribly defined at the outset. I’m trying to add clarity, not soapbox.

I don’t know which quote of yours to remove.
I can see how things can be considered "terribly defined" when you don't understand the concept

I meant that will all due respect.

It takes quite a bit of desire to play this music to take a dive deep enough to achieve this feel ... and no it doesn't require other instrumentation to be present.

This post was meant for those who are immersed in the life or desire to be immersed in the life.

I see the question come up quite a bit.

This concept was brought to me by some of the greatest players to ever grace this music and many of you have possibly heard me use it on records where I get to play with some of my heroes.

No one preached quarter note feel more than Chick Corea

I've sat in a room with Chick , each of us playing nothing but a ride cymbal for quite a long time ... just tapping quarter notes.

His quarter note had so much air under it that it would blow your mind.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I am totally on board about the quarter note driving the band. The quarter note is the driver of the song. It's no different than any other genre in that respect IMO. The quarter note is King in my world too.

I just can't wrap my head around swung quarters with no eighth notes present. Logically and mentally...I can't make it work. I can't even imagine a lone swung quarter note. In my mind, a quarter note can only imply a swing, not actually make it swing. If I'm off there I will concede. But no one has offered up any other way of thinking that convinces me. Drive? Yes, quarter notes drive a song all day long. But lone quarters swinging in a vacuum? That's where the wheels come off for me. I could use some help there, because it's not computing at all.
 

MG1127

Active Member
I am totally on board about the quarter note driving the band. The quarter note is the driver of the song. It's no different than any other genre in that respect IMO. The quarter note is King in my world too.

I just can't wrap my head around swung quarters with no eighth notes present. Logically and mentally...I can't make it work. I can't even imagine a lone swung quarter note. In my mind, a quarter note can only imply a swing, not actually swing. Drive? Yes, quarter notes drive a song all day long. But swing? I could use some help there, because it's not computing.
I think you are thinking about a "swung quarter note" instead of quarter notes that swing.

It exists

quite commonly actually

Like I said above ... if you are not immersed in the life where it is required I can completely understand how this can sound bizarre

We sit with metronomes and that becomes the be all to us

It almost makes us forget that time is elastic
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I am totally on board about the quarter note driving the band. The quarter note is the driver of the song. It's no different than any other genre in that respect IMO. The quarter note is King in my world too.

I just can't wrap my head around swung quarters with no eighth notes present. Logically and mentally...I can't make it work. I can't even imagine a lone swung quarter note. In my mind, a quarter note can only imply a swing, not actually make it swing. If I'm off there I will concede. But no one has offered up any other way of thinking that convinces me. Drive? Yes, quarter notes drive a song all day long. But lone quarters swinging in a vacuum? That's where the wheels come off for me. I could use some help there, because it's not computing at all.

Can a drummer with extremely deep groove, playing the money beat, sound groovier than a computer playing the same money beat? What do you think?
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I can see how things can be considered "terribly defined" when you don't understand the concept

I meant that will all due respect.

It takes quite a bit of desire to play this music to take a dive deep enough to achieve this feel ... and no it doesn't require other instrumentation to be present.

This post was meant for those who are immersed in the life or desire to be immersed in the life.

I see the question come up quite a bit.

This concept was brought to me by some of the greatest players to ever grace this music and many of you have possibly heard me use it on records where I get to play with some of my heroes.

No one preached quarter note feel more than Chick Corea

I've sat in a room with Chick , each of us playing nothing but a ride cymbal for quite a long time ... just tapping quarter notes.

His quarter note had so much air under it that it would blow your mind.

What do you think about my theory that the swing comes from a slightly-accented 2 and 4, plus playing 2 and 4 slightly ahead, and 1 and 3 slightly behind? Yes or no?
 

MG1127

Active Member
Can a drummer with extremely deep groove, playing the money beat, sound groovier than a computer playing the same money beat? What do you think?
This is a very similar theory

Imagine John Bonham or Steve Jordan playing the most basic drum beat ... and then some kid at Guitar Center who is a good player playing the same beat.

Air pockets
 

MG1127

Active Member
What do you think about my theory that the swing comes from a slightly-accented 2 and 4, plus playing 2 and 4 slightly ahead, and 1 and 3 slightly behind? Yes or no?
I think you are thinking in the right direction but simplifying it a touch

But yes ... elasticity and air

It's one of those things where when you hear it you say , Yes! that's it
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I think you are thinking about a "swung quarter note" instead of quarter notes that swing.

It exists

quite commonly actually

Like I said above ... if you are not immersed in the life where it is required I can completely understand how this can sound bizarre

We sit with metronomes and that becomes the be all to us

It almost makes us forget that time is elastic
It's not my intention to tear your advice down. I do appreciate you sticking with this and trying to help me understand. I don't doubt you at all. I'm only trying to understand something I'm not getting.

Since you understand this...if I was listening to you playing "quarters that swing"...to a metronome....what difference would I hear if you were to play straight quarters to a metronome. Will this even work to a metronome? I apologize, sometimes I am really slow on the uptake. I'm missing something.

And since I'm asking you to wet nurse me, what difference would I hear between quarters that swing and a swung quarter note. I can imagine the first but not the second.

The quarters that swing...is the swing happening in the audiences ears or the players head? Both? I apologize for being difficult.
 

MG1127

Active Member
It's not my intention to tear your advice down. I do appreciate you sticking with this and trying to help me understand. I don't doubt you at all. I'm only trying to understand something I'm not getting.

Since you understand this...if I was listening to you playing "quarters that swing"...to a metronome....what difference would I hear if you were to play straight quarters to a metronome. Will this even work to a metronome? I apologize, sometimes I am really slow on the uptake. I'm missing something.

And since I'm asking you to wet nurse me, what difference would I hear between quarters that swing and a swung quarter note. I can imagine the first but not the second.

The quarters that swing...is the swing happening in the audiences ears or the players head? Both? I apologize for being difficult.
You may or may not hear it in my playing but I sure try

a swung quarter note is not a thing ... but you can swing your feel playing nothing but quarter notes.

I think many are thinking about notes on a page and metronomes.

This is about air between sounds created on a surface
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
Can a drummer with extremely deep groove, playing the money beat, sound groovier than a computer playing the same money beat? What do you think?
To really compare they would have to be to a metronome.

So if a really greasy drummer was playing a money beat to a metronome and burying the click, and a drum machine was doing the same exact thing, I'd have to say that the drummer would sound groovier due to the dynamics only. In other words if both the human and the computer buried the click, the human would sound groovier because if I take the note placement out of the equation (both burying the click) the only thing left that I can think of is the inner kit dynamics, and the inconsistency of volume on the hits (compared to the computer which would be perfect)
a swung quarter note is not a thing ... but you can swing your feel playing nothing but quarter notes.
Thank you. A swung quarter note is not a thing. That helps. Which brings me back to....how do I swing a feel with just quarters so that others hear/feel it too? Can it be done to a metronome? Again, I apologize for my denseness.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
The Native Americans had an idea of continuity. They believed in sort of a continuum in music. It is a head scratcher at first, but after listening to it for a little while. You can hear what they are doing, they play just quarter notes, but a whole group of them together they play on and around that beat. They do the same with their vocals and melodies, singing in unison sometimes singing with more of spread and vibratto.

If you are thinking about micro placements of quarter notes, I would think you could swing that.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
The Native Americans had an idea of continuity. They believed in sort of a continuum in music. It is a head scratcher at first, but after listening to it for a little while. You can hear what they are doing, they play just quarter notes, but a whole group of them together they play on and around that beat. They do the same with their vocals and melodies, singing in unison sometimes singing with more of spread and vibratto.

If you are thinking about micro placements of quarter notes, I would think you could swing that
Would it work to a metronome? Sorry to keep bringing that up but it's my sticking point. My gut tells me I can't swing by burying the click on quarters only. That's my starting point. I'm probaby wrong but I don't know. I'm trying to find out if I can make a met swing at 100bpm for example. I just can't imagine how I could possibly do that and still bury the click. I may feel the swing inside, but what about the listeners?
 

s1212z

Silver Member
I think this concept is far more apparent in brush playing. The music itself more useful, blog exchange intellectualizing is a bit limiting IMO.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I made a recording, it has a lot of mess ups, I hadn't warmed up, but I think you can hear the quarters implying more stuff
Novice version!
 

MG1127

Active Member
Would it work to a metronome? Sorry to keep bringing that up but it's my sticking point. My gut tells me I can't swing by burying the click on quarters only. That's my starting point. I'm probaby wrong but I don't know. I'm trying to find out if I can make a met swing at 100bpm for example. I just can't imagine how I could possibly do that and still bury the click. I may feel the swing inside, but what about the listeners?
None of this has anything to do with a metronome.

I think metronomes actually do more harm than good when we start to think of them in this light

Like everything starts and stops with one
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I can see how things can be considered "terribly defined" when you don't understand the concept

I meant that will all due respect..

This is disrespectful. It’s dismissive, more specifically. Adding “all due respect”, right after saying something disrespectful, doesn’t change the disrespect.

I’m not saying you’re wrong about your idea. I’m saying your explanation begets confusion, as you have written it. It sounds like “you got to dig it to dig it” — fine for some, and not helpful for others.

It's one of those things where when you hear it you say , Yes! that's it

Then show us an example of you doing it. Shouldn’t be hard since Chick Corea showed you.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
None of this has anything to do with a metronome.

I think metronomes actually do more harm than good when we start to think of them in this light

Like everything starts and stops with one
I appreciate what you are saying about the met. I'm using the metronome as a guidepost because that's the only way I can wrap my head around this concept. If there was no standard to adhere to, (metronome) then any comparison...there's nothing to compare to. I'm guessing. In that environment, anything goes, (I think) which doesn't help me understand. It wouldn't be crazy for me to think that...based on what I am trying to understand here...that swing can't happen to a metronome? My default is yes a person can create a swing feel with a metronome. Is that wrong too?
 
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